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Good Props for Teen Photo Shoots

by Dana Hinders, studioD

Props add visual interest to portrait photography and have the power to transform an ordinary snapshot into a striking image that captures the essence of the photo subject. Whether you're planning to take pictures of your teen at home or looking for some ideas to incorporate into a professional session, consider your prop options.

Casual Props

Casual photo props tend to be the most requested items for teen photo shoots. Over-size colorful floor pillows or a faux fur rug give a teen's photo shoot a cute and casual vibe. A sign with a chalkboard bubble can be used to add a whimsical touch to a portrait. A bouquet of balloons is an inexpensive prop that showcases a teen's carefree attitude. If the teen is having senior pictures taken, large numbers made of wood or foam can be arranged to add her graduation date to the photo.

Formal Props

If a teen desires a formal portrait, tall plaster columns surrounded by ivy are a classic prop choice. Antique chairs or chaise lounges also work well for formal photos. Curtains, pillows or blankets made from velvet or satin can be used to add color and texture to the photo. Try experimenting with mirrors and candles to add a sense of glamor and sophistication to your images. For teen girl's photo shoot, a single flower makes a lovely photo prop.

Vintage Props

Teens who are fascinated with vintage influences on contemporary culture might enjoy using props such as a stack of records, an old suitcase or a vintage leather jacket. Vintage street signs or replicas of vintage gasoline pumps might appeal to teen boys. For teen girls, a vintage vanity or a wire dress form would make nice photo props. In recent years, having a teen pose with a large empty vintage photo frame has become a popular portrait photography idea.

Personality Props

Many professional photographers encourage teens to bring in personal items to use as photo props so that their pictures are a better reflection of the teen's unique personality. For example, a musician might be photographed posing with her instrument as she's surrounded by piles of sheet music. An athlete's photo props might include footballs, baseballs, or basketballs; trophies he has won; or his letterman's jacket.

Pets as Photo Props

If the photo shoot is outdoors, snap a few shots with the teen's pet. This approach works especially well for teens who aren't comfortable in front of the camera. Playing with their pet helps them relax.

About the Author

Dana Hinders is an Iowa-based writer. She earned her B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa in 2003.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images